Okay. If you can open to second Corinthians ten verse three to six. And we’re going to read this together. For though we walk in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.
Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Now the reason I’m reading that is we’re actually starting a new series. Um we’re doing a theme across these next couple of months which is called Weapons of Warfare. Turn to the person next to you and say weapons of warfare.
Now, a weapon is a means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in a conflict or interest. Um that is a weapon and I think we actually need to arm ourselves as believers and more so, Jess and I and our whole family over this last little period of time, we’ve gone through significant challenges where we actually had to kind of arm ourselves and get ourselves into battle mode. Um a number of months ago, I think it was June. Um I got up before you guys here and is post the breakthrough offering and are we given to the breakthrough offering believing that we would land a house? And after that breakthrough offering, we landed a contract on a house and there was a lot of turmoil to get to that point. Including someone strangely enough losing a limb.
No one from our family. Um so it was a crazy ride to get to that point. And so what happened was I stood in front of you guys and I was like break through. We had a breakthrough. We got our house.
And I was so excited and thought we would just coast on by for the next little while until settlement day. And so the situation we landed ourselves in was we were selling a house while trying to buy a house at the same time. May I say from personal experience I do not recommend it now. Okay? In case you’re wondering. It got to the day before settlement of our house.
And what happened was we packed up our home. We put it in a moving truck. The movers were on their way to the new place. And so I was standing out the front of our home and I get a call from our agent saying hey gotta let you know settlement isn’t happening Today. And I’m like oh no we have a van full of all of our gear.
Literally on the M1 on the way to our house right now. What am I going to do? And so I called up our lawyers because technically we were allowed to enter into the house the day before settlement and put our stuff in. Settlement wasn’t the next day. So according to legal jargon we weren’t really illegally allowed to put our stuff in. So I had to sort stuff out with the lawyers and get it all over the line and Eventually, we did and we put our stuff in, locked the house, gave the key back to the real estate and so, after that, we kind of didn’t know what we were going to do.
We were hopeful that settlement was going to happen in a week’s time and that whatever was going on was going to be resolved and we even literally kind of looked at each other and said, well, what are we going to do now? Cuz I had time off and I thought I’d be doing it fixing up the house and painting and gardening and all those good stuff. So, we actually went to Away for a week and thankfully, we had some people in our congregation call us up on the way and said, hey, we’ll pay for your trip which was really beautiful and we were so grateful for that. But what happened from there was setback after setback after setback after setback after setback. Twists and turns that rival the length of the Bible. I kid you not.
Like there were so many things that happened. Am I right Greg and Janet? Yes they know the whole story. You can hit me up on the forecourt later. I’ll give you the whole brief. But it was insane what we went through to get to that point.
And I remember talking to Bryce and Vick on the forecourt after one of our services and Vic said to me in all her infinite wisdom I bet you wish you didn’t announce your breakthrough early. I was like, yes, yes, I really do. Cuz we had so many people coming to us every week being like, so, how’s the house? Have you settled in? No, it always have to be like, no, and they’d ask the question, why? And I’d have to give them this really complicated story and their eyes would glaze over. So, I’ve learned my lesson because on Friday, we finally settled on the house. Yes.
My goodness. And the reason I feel it in my heart to share this series is because not only for what our family went through, but we’ve been talking to many people in the congregation who have shared their challenges that they’ve walked through. And some people are going through significant setbacks right now. And they’re looking at it and going what do I do? And I just think what’s happening at King’s Church right now. There is this thing happening where things are growing.
Things are flourishing. Things are doing well. We’re seeing fresh vision and life happen here. And obviously when that happens that attracts the attention of the enemy. And so we find ourselves sometimes under dures under challenge and we need to know how to navigate it.
We need to know what we have at our disposal to fight back. Because we we kind of get labelled happy clappers right as Christians. And we kind of get labelled as meek and mild. But you know what? We are formidable with Christ. Because he has armed us with weapons of warfare that we can fight back and we can defend ourselves.
So I want to take this time to equip us as a congregation. That when we are facing the battle we know what we can cling to. We know what we can grab and we know is effective. Amen? That’s why we are talking about weapons of warfare and we’re going to have a bunch of our guys speak over the next few weeks from their own personal experiences, from what they’ve been through, from what they used to fight back. Cuz we don’t fight as the world fights, we fight supernaturally.
Amen? Amen. So this morning, we are going to dig into this. And I want us to not only think of this as a reactionary thing. Like, we need weapons of warfare to fight back against that is happening to us. I also want to empower people in this congregation to fight for something.
That it’s not just reactionary but those in the congregation who want to intercede, who want to fast, who want to pray, who want to believe, to take ground from the enemy. Even though you are not facing any significant valley or any significant setback right now. That some of us would be empowered to go. You know what? I’m pretty good right now. So I’m ready and raring to go and I’m going to pray and I’m going to believe and I’m going to push through.
Amen? So this morning, let’s get to our first weapon. Are you ready? Whoo. Smash Rogers is ready. Okay. That’s good.
So, the first weapon I want to talk about may not sound like a weapon but it is. And it’s resilience is a weapon. If there were two foundations to spiritual weapons that we use I would say one is obviously salvation. Which is our identity in Christ. We can’t escape that.
That is vital in what we do. But the second thing I would partner that with is resilience. And resilience is to find as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness, the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape, elasticity. Resilience isn’t just perseverance. Of just perseverance in getting through, or endurance, enduring something and getting through.
I believe where resilience trumps both of those things is that we can persevere, we can endure, and we can get out of shape. Whoever’s been through a season where you have had to persevere and endure something and you’re just getting through it step by step. And in the, the span of that season, you find yourself just getting out of shape. You find yourself being hurt. You find yourself taking on some things that aren’t typically you.
You find yourself getting bitter, negative, frustrated, you’re not sleeping. All of this stuff is happening and you find yourself out of shape. That can happen in perseverance and that can happen in endurance but it can’t happen in resilience. Resilience is the the weapon where we spring back into our God-given identity in Christ. So those moments where the enemy wants to come and disconnect us from Jesus.
Actually we go no. I know you’ve done some damage here but I’m springing back into my calling of who I am. And I’m standing firm on my foundation here. Amen? You know the amount of people I’ve spoken to or prayed with where they’re going through a situation or they’ve been through a situation and it’s been like they’ve been through the fire. But they still smell like smoke.
They’re just a little bit Smokey. Something has lingered on them. Something has stayed with them. And they haven’t sprung back into shape. I believe as we partner with resilience, as we use it as a weapon, we find ourselves on solid ground and we find ourselves smelling a lot better.
Are you with me? Yes, I love it. In Isaiah forty verse thirtyone, it says, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not grow faint. Some of us in this room are running and are weary.
We’re walking and we’re on the verge of fainting. But God wants us in that state of renewal. He wants to renew our strength. That state of snapping back into shape. So if we know that resilience is one of the keys, one of the weapons we can wield as Christians.
A weapon of warfare. Then let’s dig into what resilience looks like and how we access it. So the first thing is resilient is stirred. Now, I get this from second Timothy one verse six to seven. It says, therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
For God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Now, when I think of those gifts, power sounds pretty good. I like power. That sounds good. I I want to access that.
Love, love that. Warm and fuzzy is so good. Sound mind. Eh? Sure. Add it on.
You know sometimes it feels like when you’re calling up to order something like let’s say pizzas or something like that. and they say, oh, would you like to add a garlic bread for 295 and you’re like, yeah, why not? Chuck that on. Let’s do that. Sometimes, that’s what we look at sound mind like because we don’t understand what it is. We don’t unfully understand the whole picture of what a sound mind does.
When it says sound, mind in the Bible, it comes from a couple of words. One is Sodzo, which means to be saved or delivered, meaning something that is rescued, revived, salvaged, protected, and is now safe and secure. It can also mean new life being breathed into something that was dead. And the other word is freneo which is about the structure of the mind, our thought processes. So one person translated that whole verse this way to say God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power and of love.
He has given you a mind that has been delivered, rescued, revived, salvaged, protected, and brought into a place of safety and security. So that it is no longer affected by illogical, unfounded, and absurd thoughts. That is a sound mind. Paul wrote this to Timothy from prison knowing that he was going to have to shoulder the weight of the church. And Nero was firing up wanting to persecute Christians.
wanting to kill them. And he knew the pressure would be on Timothy. And Timothy was actually sort of known a little bit to be a little bit timid. And so he was saying to him, no, you have power, you have love, and you have a sound mind. You have a structure here where you can reject a logical, unfounded, absurd Thoughts that as you go forth with the church, as you lead the church, you are going to lead it from a place and position of strength even as you are facing challenge.
Are you with me? Yeah. You know, now, I know for most of you in this room, you may know Jess and I’s story. We’re over a decade ago, we discovered that our eldest daughter, Riley, was born with a congenital heart defect and was going to need to have surgery pretty much instantly. So, she was born and then a couple of days later, she was going to need to have an open heart surgery which was going to be the most complex surgery that is actually around. And so that was our introduction to parenthood.
Yeah. Um and I remember when Riley was born our doctors kind of got her and were taking her up to the ICU. And I followed with her. And they had the sonographers there and they were going to do a check on her heart because now they could give the most accurate reading of their heart now that she was outside. And so I remember pacing behind these sonography without them knowing and I was praying and I was speaking in tongues and I was like, God, you’re going to turn this around right now.
This is the moment. This is when it’s happening, God. I know that you’ve got this, you’ve got this and I’m just muttering this under my breath and as I’m doing that, I hear the sonographers say, yes, it’s a double inlet left ventricle heart, which means the congenital heart defect, the thing that they said it was, was correct. And I remember in that moment, I wasn’t deflated. Like I thought I thought in that moment discovering that yeah that is definitely what’s going to happen.
I thought I would be upset or sad or angry or something but in that moment I just felt this peace. And I kind of just prayed to God and I said God okay. If this is what this is. If this is what we’re going to go through. If we’re going to have to walk through this.
Okay. I trust you. This is on you God. I’m giving it to you. And I remember just releasing it to him in that moment.
And so that night of our daughter being born which usually for other parents is a joyous occasion. And we were expecting it to be tinge with sadness. I actually felt such a confidence in God. And I knew that he had it and I knew it was okay. And in those moments I could have allowed my mind to drift off.
I could have allowed my mind to drift off to what the days were ahead. And the months ahead. And what we had been told in the future potentially could happen with our daughter which praise God never actually happened right? Because I rejected a logical, unfounded, absurd thoughts. I was not going to allow the enemy to come in and mess with my head and cause me to get off track because that is what he wants to do to every single one of us. If he can get us to trust less, if he can get us to stress more, if he can get us to close the book on our Bible, if he can get us to rage against the skies, and sometimes it is okay to express those emotions, okay? But when we stay in that emotion, that is not a good thing.
That is not where the Lord wants us to be Amen? When the Bible describes a sound mind, it is the idea of a self-controlled, calm mind in contrast to the panic and confusion that comes in a fearful situation. The enemy wants to stir up fear. He wants to stir up panic. He wants to stir up confusion but you know what the word says to stir up the gifts of God? That’s what he says and then, we will see power, we will see love, and we will see a sound mind and it even speaks of to stir up those gifts in the laying on of hands. So actually surround ourselves with people who have sound minds to actually pray and believe and keep us going.
Being the Aaron and Hers to the Moses. Keeping our arms lifted up when we’re so tired and exhausted. To believe. Amen? That is what we need to do. You know when it speaks stir up the word actually means to kindle afresh or to keep in full flame.
The Lord wants us to keep it in full flame. The gifting that is within us. Some of us have walked through such significant awful things. Things we never expected, things that we never imagined we would face. And in those moments, it’s possible for our flame to go out.
It’s possible for it to be diminished. But God’s reminder is in those moments, I need you to keep at full flame. I need you to be intentional. I need you to kindle this and cause that gifting to rise up within you. I need that sound mind to stay.
Even on those moments where you think it’s going to cap and cause it to smoke out. I want you to stay in this moment of actually sticking with me. And we will see goodness of the Lord. Amen? Amen. I want to encourage everyone in this room.
Let’s not be people who, you know, say, I don’t know how you did that. I don’t know how you got through that. If it was me, I would fall apart. That was what we faced when we were first giving birth to Riley around that time and everyone was discovering our story. We heard so many people come up to us and say, as if we superheroes or something that we can walk through this.
They’re like, oh, I don’t know how you guys are doing it. Oh, more power to you. Oh, you guys, it’s amazing that you’re getting through it. No, it’s just that we a sound mind. And that is the key.
That is the key for every single one of us. Let’s not be people who say I don’t know how you do it. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. All things. There is no like side note where it has a little hash on the end or something.
Where you look down at the bottom of the Bible and says oh except for these specific circumstances. We can do all things through Christ. And in order for us to know that we need a sound mind. Are you with me? Second Corinthians ten verse five says we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Every thought we captive that.
In Romans twelve verse two, it says, do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. God seems to be preoccupied with our mind. He seems to be preoccupied with our thought structure and how we perceive and receive things. So, it’s about time that we actually allow the Holy Spirit to do a work within our mind so that the way that we see the world, the way we respond isn’t like a bruise being poked. You know how sometimes when you face a certain situation something comes out of you.
Like a oh. Where you’re like where did that come from? And it’s because we’ve been through it before. And we know the hurt and the hurt is still there. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to do a work within our lives and cause us to be renewed. Amen? Amen.
I want to encourage you that today could be a day of renewing for you. Where the enemy has come and tried to cause you to get out of shape. Cause your mind to get out of shape. But there’s something that the Lord is doing within us. To cause us to snap back.
That we would have that elasticity once again in our lives. The second thing is and I’m only doing 2 points this morning. So, you won’t forget them, okay? Resilience has depth. Resilience goes deeper. So, in the midst of our crazy few months that we had with this house sale, I remember that I sat down with our pastoral supervisor which is something we do as pastors.
It’s like a mental health check because sometimes, you know, us ministering to the congregation, sitting with people in their darkest moments, all those kind of things. Sometimes, we need the ability to talk to someone about those moments and be completely open about how that affected us. And so this pastoral supervisor sat with me and he hadn’t sat with me since before we kind of started the sale process. And so he said hey Sean. How’s things going? How’d the house go? And I went ho.
I’ve got a story to tell you. And through that story me telling that I saw his eyes get wider and wider. And his eyebrows go up. And at the end of the he says to me, that’s actually a traumatic story. That’s a traumatic situation and he said, you know what you need to do? Is you need to go home after this and you need to pray that none of that sticks on you.
That none of that gets in you. He said, because it’s very easy for that to happen based on what you got happened to you. Like, got knocked about a lot. And so, he reminded me, no, that’s not your story. It doesn’t have to be your story.
You can actually live free from this whole entire situation without a feeling of negativity and bitterness and all hurt and all that kind of stuff Amen. See the thing I think sometimes is when we are faced with significant challenges it’s almost like some of us end up out of our depth. And we don’t know how to swim that deep. We end up in the deep end of the pool where we’ve never been before and we’re paddling and we don’t know if we’re going to drown. And it’s scary sometimes.
Some of us face significant health challenges. Some things come for our family. Something come for our mental health wellbeing. Things come at us and it’s like we’ve never been here before. But I want to every single one of us.
The Lord goes before you. The Lord has already been where you are going. So in those moments where we feel like I’m going to get stretched and out of shape and I can’t possibly snap back. That the law goes before you and allows that elasticity to happen. You with me? Here is the thing we need to recognize when it comes to weapons of warfare.
When you go to war you are sometimes going to find yourself in places where you’re like I am out of my depth. But guess what? That is where God his best work. Sometimes we think, what is even happening? Why is this happening to me? But through that situation, God can turn things around for good and he can do good within it. You know, in James one verse two, it says, consider it pure joy. My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work. Can that be a word for some people today? Let perseverance finish its work. Stop trying to get in the way of it. Stop trying to stop it. Stop trying to shun the Bundery way out of it, okay? Let perseverance finish its works that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to you. When you ask must believe and not doubt because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double minded and unstable in all they do. Blessed is the one in verse twelve who perseveres under trial.
Because having stood the test that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. To those who love him. When we are out of our depth when we feel like we are stretched what we could possibly stand or measure Just know God has already paved the path for us. And in those moments he is doing some of his best work. Nothing is wasted.
When we walked through the the those months of just praying and believing and trusting that things would be okay. I saw within our family the faith of our family rise. I saw our kids interceding for the situation like they never had before. I saw people from our church surrounding us and then believing and trusting too. I saw good things happen from it.
You know what? Don’t really want to do it again. But I saw amazing incredible things happen just as a result of us walking through this. And my faith has never been stronger as a result of it. If we persevere, if we push through, if we continue taking step by step through our circumstances, we will see the goodness of God. It says consider it pure joy.
That is not that we are jumping up and down going, yay, I love bring them on. What’s the next one? It’s that we can find joy within our circumstances. That joy can be seen and felt. For some of us, we may have the beautiful Holy Spirit God comes in and rescues us from our circumstances. Radically delivered from it.
That can happen and does happen. For others of us, we are actually taking this step by step. Just walking that the only way is through. And if the only way is through, we better be resilient because actually we can make it on the other end not burnt, not smoky, not out of sorts, not stretched, but snapping back into shape and our identity in Christ. Are you with me? When I say resilience is a weapon, it is a weapon.
Cuz the enemy wants to come and disconnect us from the things of God. Wants to distract us, pull us away. But when we are resilient, we are holding strong to our foundation and what we are called to. I don’t know what people are going through in this room. I’ve heard stories.
People have come and shared with me and even after I ate service. I had a bunch of people come to me after I preached this and said, oh, I needed that. And I believe there are some people in here where you need that. You need to know that the word of God in your circumstances right now is be resilient. Keep snapping back.
Allow that elasticity to continue happening. I am with you. I have not left you. I have not forsaken you or forgotten about you in your circumstances. I am here.
But we are going to walk through this together step by step. And you are going to out of this. Not smoky. Not smelling bad but you’re going to come out smelling good. When we allow a transformed mind, where we allow ourselves to go deeper and take step by step, deeper into the circumstances because we know the Lord is with us.
Amen? Amen. Why don’t we stand to our feet? And why don’t you just close your eyes for a second in this room? I just want to give some people some privacy. I really feel to pray this morning as we are talking about weapons of warfare. For those in this room where you honestly feel like you are misshapen. Something is happening in your world right now or something has happened to you.
And you have not snapped back. Things have gotten in. Whether it’s hurt, confusion, bitterness, disappointment, struggle. And it’s like it’s stayed. And it’s something has happened to us and it’s gotten in us.
But can I encourage you? Things can happen to us but it doesn’t have to get in us. That is not what the Lord has called us to. So in this room right now if you feel like you are out of shape If that snapping back doesn’t feel like you right now and you need that and you’re like, Lord, give me a sound mind. Lord, help me to go deeper. Help me to stay firm in my identity with you right now.
All I ask is that you put up your hand right now. Just lift your hands to the Lord in this room. Yep. Yep. Yeah.
There’s hands all over this place. We’re going to pray as a church right now. And we’re going to pray for these people right now. So why don’t we pray? Lord God I thank you for these people. God, may they know that you have not left them.
May they know within their bones, within themselves, Lord God, that you are right in the thick of it with them. And Lord, where the enemy has come and tried to stretch them beyond what they think they can be stretched, to pull them beyond where they’ve been before, Lord God. May they snap back into their identity with you. May that be unshakable and immovable from now on. This understanding and this certainty that I am called, I am set apart, that I have every blessing and every promise of the Lord upon me and even though this situation, I may have to walk through, I know that you are with me and you are going to carry me through, Lord.
God, I pray for transformed minds right now. For people, the way they perceive the world, the way they receive what is happening, the bruise that they feel when people poke it, Lord God. I feel like that that would all cease and they begin to see things as you see things. Give people a word this morning. Give them your love and encouragement Lord God.
Your power this morning. To see the way through. And I thank you for it in Jesus name that you’re calling us as a church to greater things. And that as the challenge comes we would not back down from the fight Lord God. But we would be motivated and moved to fight back with all of our might.
In Jesus name. Because we know your church is strong. And that we may face difficulty Lord. You are going to succeed. And we thank you for it in Jesus name.
And everyone said together. And everyone said together. Let’s give him praise this morning. Come on. Hey, Lord.
I want to encourage you over these next weeks. Let’s arm ourselves. Let’s get ready. Let’s challenge ourselves.